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Empathy: A New Vision for a Classic Powerset


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Posted (edited)

Hello everyone! This is my first time posting on the forums, and I’m happy to be here :D

 

This post concerns some of my suggestions for how to modernize Empathy and make it more useful in the endgame.

Empathy has always been one of my favorite powersets. I love the busy clickery, the ability to save lives in an emergency, and the feeling of making the entire party stronger. Empathy, ideally, can provide a player with a specific experience of heroism: being the team member upon which other team members can always rely, the team’s last line of defense, the still point at the center of a turning world.

There are some excellent players who have managed to accomplish some extraordinary feats with Empathy, such as +4/x8 solo runs, solo AV kills, etc., but the commendable skill of these players should not distract from general concerns that currently affect the powerset. Likewise, many other posters have already provided their suggestions, linked below at the bottom of this writeup, all of which are worth your time and consideration. I’ve learned a great deal from reading their work, some of which is incorporated here in my suggestions.

 

Empathy currently faces several challenges:

  • Healing has lower value in higher level content due to Absorbs, Defense, Resistance and Debuffs.
  • Empathy has extremely long recharges on its best abilities, minimizing their effectiveness for group content. Comparatively, this means that Empathy is less able to provide a continuous benefit to the team than other top tier support sets, such as Time, Nature, Kinetics and Thermal.
  • Empathy’s best buffs are numerically less effective than those of other powersets, have unusual gaps in what they provide, are single target, or positionally-limited.

 

Due to these concerns, Empathy is frequently placed at the very bottom of Defender tier lists. People ask, on a regular basis, whether Empathy is “dead.” Can we do better?

 

Consideration of these challenges has led me to a vision for the powerset. Empathy should be the conceptual inverse of Trick Arrow. In the same way that (ideally) Trick Arrow is -only- damage and debuffs, but strong versions of all of them, Empathy should be -only- heals and buffs, but strong versions of all of them. Empathy should also maintain its current character as a very active, very click-intensive set.

In other words, Empathy should be The Premiere Healing Set and An Extremely Strong Buff Set. It should retain it's playstyle drawbacks of having No Debuffs and being A Click-Intensive Powerset. Some of this stuff may seem obvious to many of you, but I want to spell it out in detail so that we can move forward from agreed principles and use a common design vision to improve the set :D

 

The Premiere Healing Set

            People pick Empathy because they want to heal their party members and make them stronger. Empathy should meet these expectations by providing the ability to heal faster than other sets and for better values. Furthermore, some Empathy healing abilities should have an additional benefit, such as Absorbs and Endurance Recovery.

A radical but realistic proposal is that Empathy heals should not be affected by line of sight. Feelings don’t stop at forklifts, friends. As an emotion-based set, why should Empathy be blocked by terrain? How many times have you watched a party member’s green bar go down as they stood on the opposite side of a box or thin vertical rail?

Heal Other should work like Absorb Pain does right now: quick cast, instant recharge, high output.

Absorb Pain should provide only an Absorb, without the onerous and unnecessary self-healing penalty.

Likewise, Empathy’s Resurrect should feel unique and special. My proposal is to extend the range to 100 ft. (equal to Heal Other), with a faster recharge.

 

An Extremely Strong Buff Set

            All Empathy buffs should be meaningful, noticeable and able to be perma on all party members or most party members (Adrenaline Boost) at sufficient levels of Recharge.

            Clear Mind should offer single-target proactive mez protection against all negative status, not just Sleep. The duration should also be increased to a more comfortable time. We also add a small amount of Resist: Psionic in order to make the power even more desirable in end game scenarios where defense is plentiful but psi resist is comparatively rare.

            The numbers on Fortitude need to be improved in order to make it competitive with Thermal’s Forge and Time’s Temporal Selection. For comparison, Forge adds +25% to hit and +50% damage on an identical recharge. Temporal Selection adds a +30% recharge,  +150% Regeneration and +31.25% damage. Fortitude in its current state only provides +15% defense, +31.25% damage and +18.75% to hit. These numbers must be improved in order to make Fortitude a competitive single target buff, and the recharge time should be lowered to ensure that a busy Empath can reliably maintain the buff on all party members (and many League members).

            Recovery Aura and Regeneration Aura should be party-wide within range, similar to Thermal, Cold and Force Field’s shields. It would make Empathy more fun to play, and more fun to play with for other players. Right now Empathy is on the horns of a dilemma: either post “gather for RA,” making other players change what they are doing in order to receive the buffs, or running into melee (putting oneself at personal risk with a ranged set) and trying to grab as many other players as possible (almost always less than 100% of the party). The positional element of the auras and the corresponding “gather for RA” macro is an artifact of being an Issue 0 set. We now have the freedom to improve this.

            Likewise, Regeneration Aura’s effect is deprecated in the endgame. In order to keep it relevant, it should include a small but noticeable buff to +Resist/All%. This proposal recommends 10%. For comparison, Time Manipulation’s Farsight adds 12.5%.

            Finally, Adrenaline Boost should be in the running the most impressive single-target buff in the game. It should also be on lower recharge to enable a high recharge build to keep it on a minimum of four party members at a time. Honestly? Empathy would be even better if it were brought down to Fortitude’s current recharge, but I’m concerned that it may be too radical of a proposal.

No Debuffs

            Empathy makes the party stronger rather than the enemies weaker. By this logic, Empathy’s greatest weakness is the absence of debuffs. In order to maintain its class identity, this should not be changed.  

 

A Click-Intensive Powerset

            Empathy has always felt very “clicky.” Although other suggestions offer the possibility of converting several powers into toggles, I feel as though it would change the feel of the set too much. If anything, the amount of clickiness should be intensified. Many players prefer an active, enthralling powerset.

            The Empath should constantly be casting buffs on their party members, and feel satisfied only when all other party members have Fortitude, Clear Mind, and both auras (Regeneration and Recovery). At least half the party should have Adrenaline Boost (if not more).

            Likewise, due to the Absorbs from Absorb Pain, prophylactic healing should feel useful if the hero is not otherwise in a position to attack enemies with their secondary powerset. The security of Absorb Pain should also encourage the Empath to blast away at enemies more often.

(1/3)

Edited by LeoTheCat
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Posted (edited)

Powerset Changes

Note: Anything that is not Changed, Added or Removed below is presumed to be the same as the existing power.

 

Empathy_HealingAura.png.f99392c0d091a44573769cc8219be24f.pngHealing Aura

Add: Heal 8 Endurance (all affected targets).

 

The addition of an endurance heal makes this ability more useful in the early game and still useful in certain endgame scenarios with plenty of Endurance Drain. It also makes Healing Aura slightly more spammable in the early to mid-game, and increases Empathy’s usefulness on the Synapse and Yin TF’s.

 

Empathy_HealOther.png.0d0ab442d9fb6b419ffeae8783279e87.pngHeal Other

Change Cast Time to 1.47 seconds.

Change Arcanatime to 1.708 seconds.

Animation Time to 1.467 seconds.

Change Recharge Time to 1 second.

Change Range to 100 ft.

Change Endurance Cost to 10.

Add: Heal Other is not affected by line of sight (can affect targets through terrain and objects).

 

Heal Other should be a defining power of the Empathy powerset. Empathy players should feel as though they have the best single-target heal in the game. In order to make it stand out (without adding any secondary effects on target), I suggest both of the following changes: faster speed, instant recharge and casting without line of sight.

Heal Other should heal the target at the same speed as live Absorb Pain: instantaneously, with only one second of Recharge. It will be the “always on” single target heal, healing at an even faster speed. If you want to save lives, Heal Other will be your favorite power in the game.

However, the endurance cost has been raised to 10 in order to prevent limitless spamming before RA, (unlike old Absorb Pain, which was essentially free with the penalty of a heal block on self).

 

Empathy_AbsorbPain.png.6d7eba2389a71b1b695c3ed24d6eaac6.pngAbsorb Pain

Remove Self-Healing Prevention Debuff (Resist Heal Dmg and Regeneration).

Remove Heal.

Change Range to 100 ft.

Change Endurance Cost to 13.

Add Absorb to Target: value comparable to Healing Aura, Max 20% of Target’s HP (with both absorb amount and max % affected by +Heal/Absorb Enhancements).

Add Absorb Duration: 180 Seconds.

Add: Absorb Pain is not affected by line of sight (can affect targets through terrain and objects)

 

The name of the ability is literally “Absorb Pain.” It should be an Absorb.

This ability no longer has a standard Heal, but places an Absorb on the target. This would make it useful as a preventative measure, while Heal Other would be more useful while someone is at death’s door.

We add the same “not affected by line of sight” as in the proposed changes to Heal Other.

A hardcap on total Absorb % may be necessary, but I would be interested to see what the community has to say on the subject.

 

Empathy_ClearMind.png.1fdaafebda4d9585be30af3282ed07c4.pngClear Mind

Change Duration to 180 Seconds.

Add Resist Confuse, Terrorize, Hold, Immobilize, Stun, Sleep to 196.25% (the same as Sleep).

Add Resist Damage: Psionic +15%

Increase maximum Magnitude to 12.1.

 

The rationale behind this change is to make Clear Mind the premiere Anti-Mez ability. If an Empath is sufficiently busy, they should be able to eventually make the whole party mez-proof 42 levels before Clarion. The current limitation to only Resist: Sleep seems counter-intuitive and against the expectations of most players. Clear Mind should affect every form of mez.

Note that competing powers such as Rad’s Accelerate Metabolism already do this; why not Empathy?

The additional Psionic Resist helps to plug a hole in many endgame builds and make the set a more desirable companion.

In the ecosystem of powersets and incarnate slots, improvements to Clear Mind will give players the encouragement to explore Destiny Abilities other than Clarion.

 

Empathy_Resurrect.png.b78881235269af707a451405824dd87b.pngResurrect

Change Range to 100 ft.

Change Recharge to 30 seconds (previously 90 seconds).

Change Endurance Cost to 8 (previously 26).

If not accepted by target, recharge immediately (if this can be done).

Add: Resurrect is not affected by line of sight (can affect targets through terrain and objects)

 

This will synergize well with the ranged playstyle of the Empath. The range increase alone will justify the power from a gameplay perspective, allowing us to avoid the more controversial discussion of what secondary buffs should be added to the ability. If Empathy is meant to have a vanilla rez with no other effects, then it should be the best vanilla rez (shorter recharge and castable at range).

The previous Endurance Cost of 26 was prohibitive and meant that you almost never have it available when the party needs it the most. Given how other powersets and P2W powers have several secondary effects, why not make Empathy’s vanilla Rez cheap, fast and effective?

 

Empathy_Fortitude.png.601215ad344c4ceeda5e3ef15fcd626f.pngFortitude

Change Duration to 180 Seconds.

Change +ToHit to 25%.

Change +Damage to 45%.

Change Recharge to 40 seconds.

 

This will comfortably enable the Empath to maintain Fortitude on all party members and, with slotting of the Spiritual Alpha and endgame IO’s, several members of a League beyond one’s party. However, the Empath will still need to actively manage it on all members, one by one.

 

Empathy_RecoveryAura.png.c12ae913ce17084709b8fb77a8c52903.pngRecovery Aura

Change Effect Area to AoE, all targets within range (like Thermal or FF’s Shields).

Change Max Targets Hit to 255.

Add +64.875% Resistance (-Endurance, -Recovery) for 90s (all affected targets).

Add +Recharge: +25%.

Change Recharge to 240 Seconds.

 

The additional Recharge makes this ability even stronger, but still not as comprehensively strong as Rad’s Accelerate Metabolism, which adds Move Speed, Damage, Recovery, 30% Recharge and Mez Resistance at only level 2. The Endurance Resistance and Recovery Resistance have also now been brought to parity with Accelerate Metabolism.

 

The reduction of the Recharge time to 240 seconds enables a well-slotted RA to be perma.

 

Empathy_RegenerationAura.png.300294ebe5eeb5a8f6402d587d67a86e.pngRegeneration Aura

Change Effect Area to AoE, all targets within range (like Thermal or FF’s Shields).

Change Max Targets Hit to 255.

Add Resist All: +10%.

Add Resist -Regen: 100%

Change Recharge to 240 Seconds.

 

The additional Resist All gives added value to the ability and makes it more desirable an endgame environment (where most players have at least S/L Defense softcap).

The reduction of the Recharge time to 240 seconds enables a well-slotted RA to be perma.

 

Empathy_AdrenalinBoost.png.2e2f384ae4c5c89cdc48ea724527d601.pngAdrenaline Boost

Change Duration to 180 Seconds.

Change Recharge to 90 seconds.

Change the name to “Adrenaline” Boost instead of “Adrenalin” Boost. On the other hand, is “adrenaline” really a feeling? If there is a character limit, change the name to just “Adrenaline” or perhaps one of the following: “Excitation,” “Vitality,” “Determination,” “Confidence” or “Tenacity.” This set is “Empathy,” not “Super Hormones.” Rant over :D

 

These changes enable Adrenaline Boost to be present on four or more members of the party, if not more at the endgame. The effect, which is currently solid and desirable, has not been changed.

I would also tentatively like to propose that the Recharge be dropped even further beyond this suggestion.

 

Conclusion

 

Thank you for taking the time to read. I hope that this document serves as a “save point” for the previous discussions of the powerset and may shine a light on future directions for development. Thank you for making City of Heroes HC the best MMO community in the world.

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Edited by LeoTheCat
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Posted (edited)

Question and Answer

 

Those numbers on Resist (or Range or Recharge…) are too good. Would you be ok with X?

Proposals for numerical revisions are always encouraged. I may have written the first post, but this is -our- thread for how to improve the powerset.

 

What do you think about self-casting buffs?
I think that it’s a great idea, but that’s a global issue rather than Empathy-only. My Kin Kin and Bubble Bros should be able to do the same, or none of us at all, so that is probably a topic for another thread.

 

Why don’t you suggest more radical changes: debuffs, playstyle changes, etc.? Are you one of those “cottage rule” adherents?

I don’t feel beholden to the cottage rule at all. My position is that the feeling of the playstyle should stay the same. The Empathy Defender should constantly be clicking, constantly be paying attention to the team window, and constantly paying attention to their buff recharges. Anyone who really loves the reactive healing playstyle can tell you that there is something exhilirating about it. Anything that would change this experience should be rejected on principle. If you want toggle heals, play Pain Dom (a great set).

 

Hey, wait a second. You’re adding Absorbs to Empathy. What about Force Field?

Yeah, Force Field badly needs some love as well. I used to run a FFer before the snap. My position is that improving Empathy shouldn’t mean that we don’t improve Force Field as well. The future Absorbs that FF gets should be even stronger than Empathy’s. The best of the changes in the other threads about improving FF should be all implemented.

 

But there are other sets that need help more than Empathy. What about Regen? What about Kinetic Melee? What about Electric Blast? What about Mind Control? What about Assault Rifle? What about T8 and T9 for Traps? What about Trick Arrow?

Just like with FF, those sets could use some love also. Please do not misinterpret my support for fixing Empathy as opposition for improving other sets.

Also, Assault Rifle will probably be my next writeup because I love the set.

tl;dr nerf Regen, too str0nk

 

 

Some awesome further reading (in no particular order):

 

https://forums.homecomingservers.com/topic/29203-is-empathy-dead/

 

https://forums.homecomingservers.com/topic/8011-empathysonicsoul-the-endgame-friendly-empath/

 

https://forums.homecomingservers.com/topic/18843-could-empathy-get-a-little-healing/

 

https://forums.homecomingservers.com/topic/18105-empathy-20-a-suggested-revamp-of-an-old-classic/

 

https://forums.homecomingservers.com/topic/4180-suggestion-for-changes-to-mm-empathy/

 

https://forums.homecomingservers.com/topic/23889-help-for-healing-sets-turn-direct-damage-into-dots-with-a-damage-queueing-ability/

 

https://forums.homecomingservers.com/topic/16757-proposal-promote-pro-social-interactions-by-increasing-the-duration-of-single-target-anti-mezz-powers/

 

https://forums.homecomingservers.com/topic/2979-wishlist-buff-for-resurrection/

 

https://forums.homecomingservers.com/topic/8680-show-me-your-defender-tier-list/

Edited by LeoTheCat
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43 minutes ago, LeoTheCat said:

A radical but realistic proposal is that Empathy heals should not be affected by line of sight.

Totally can see this. Makes sense and would be unique, if situational.

 

44 minutes ago, LeoTheCat said:

Clear Mind should offer single-target proactive mez protection against all negative status, not just Sleep.

Already does.  Unless you mean other sorta status things like debuffs.

 

45 minutes ago, LeoTheCat said:

The numbers on Fortitude need to be improved in order to make it competitive with Thermal’s Forge and Time’s Temporal Selection. For comparison, Forge adds +25% to hit and +50% damage on an identical recharge. Temporal Selection adds a +30% recharge,  +150% Regeneration and +31.25% damage.

 

Forge does nothign but damage and to hit, and really, 25% to hit compared to 18 is REALLY similar, unless you are heavily debuffed or the team mate has no acc slotting at all. Likewise, 30% damage compared to 50 really isnt that crazy, with powers already slotted to 98%ish.  Also teh regen in TS is mostly useless unless its on a tank or regen/wp melee.  But in all cases, teh defence helps a lot.

 

49 minutes ago, LeoTheCat said:

Recovery Aura and Regeneration Aura should be party-wide within range, similar to Thermal, Cold and Force Field’s shields.

I kinda agree with this. Needing to cry 'gather for buffs' and wait for team mates to gather is painful, and makes it easy to miss people. On the other hand, it can be part of the situational awareness. I'd give the Auras a much bigger range, and no line of sight needed.

 

51 minutes ago, LeoTheCat said:

Finally, Adrenaline Boost should be in the running the most impressive single-target buff in the game. It should also be on lower recharge to enable a high recharge build to keep it on a minimum of four party members at a time. Honestly? Empathy would be even better if it were brought down to Fortitude’s current recharge, but I’m concerned that it may be too radical of a proposal.

FOUR people with +100% rech and maxxed rec/regen? Yeah..no. That is just too good.

 

Empathy is a hard set to tweak..major changes and people will hate it, or it will break the theme. But it is such an ooold power set, and its easier to see how it can be overshadowed. Like one Kin on the team already gives everyone (unless they are slack, like most of em are) +50rech and unlimited end. All the time. Poor Recovery Aura.

One Time with power boosted Farsigh gives everyone 25%ish def, all the time. Poor Fort.

 

i LIKE YOUR idea about giving CM Psi resis, as it makes sense to me. And healing aura also doing +end would be nice. +8 might be too much though.

 

The Aura changes are interesting too, with the debuff resist, and would help Empathy do 'more.'

 

AN idea I just had regarding Adren and maybe Fort..have the recharge lowered by the 3 healing powers in the set, as the user 'builds' up empathy for his team mates via healing them, making the other powers available soon. That would also encourage Emps to actually EMP (can you tell I hate slack emps?)

 

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10 hours ago, Razor Cure said:

 

 

AN idea I just had regarding Adren and maybe Fort..have the recharge lowered by the 3 healing powers in the set, as the user 'builds' up empathy for his team mates via healing them, making the other powers available soon. That would also encourage Emps to actually EMP (can you tell I hate slack emps?)

 

 

This is a good idea. I will note though that in the current meta of high levels of defense, resistance and damage that teams brings, EMPS hardly need to EMP. No, I don't have an answer t that.

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Eh. Some yes, some no, honestly.

First, conceptually? "As an emotion-based set" - no, it isn't. Yes, I know the name. Let's not pigeonhole one person's concept into "this is how it works." I hate it for Dark ("it's all the netherworld!") powers, too, frankly. *You* may feel empathy, but your feelings aren't necessarily what's doing the healing and buffing.

OK, that gripe out of the way...

 

1. Healing aura -

 

Pretty much agree with this. It does add early-game utility, where, yes, "I heal" is more handy - but that bit of endurance would be too.

 

2. Heal Other -

 

Don't think it needs that much of a recharge buff, personally. And I don't, honestly, feel it needs to not be affected by line of sight. If someone's going to run off on their own, that's on them.

 

3. Absorb pain

 

I'm ... ehhhh here. I still do not agree with "no line of sight." And I don't want the "remove self-healing prevention debuff." But that's because I *like* powers that have more than just an END cost that make you have to think for a second, "do I want to use this now?" They have to be *worth* the cost, though. So, this should be the largest single-target heal, *plus* the absorb (and a significant one) you want to add.

 

4. CM

 

Er... ok, looks like Razor already pointed out what I was going to.

 

5. Resurrect

 

Oh dear god,  yes, please just instantly recharge if the person doesn't accept. Though I don't think the recharge really needs to be dropped. The only time I find myself wanting super-low recharge is an MSR going sideways (hello, pack of Rikti mages/priests/AOE bastages...) and often no amount of recharge is going to help there -  you want a Dark for the corpse pile.

 

What I *would* add (though not at the expense of "if not accepted, just recharge") is just insane regen/recovery/CM for 5-7 seconds so the person can at least survive the rez if the timing or positioning happens to be ... not ideal (again, looking at MSRs here.)

 

6. Fortitude -

 

"This will comfortably enable the Empath to maintain Fortitude on all party members" - all party members don't need it. Prioritize.

 

7 - The two RAs.

 

They don't need to be able to be perma'd. So that I'll generally argue against.

 

8. AB -

 

Also doesn't need to be on multiple members of the party. That's just too much.


I'll also point to Razor's idea of having the powers - basically pull what the attacks in the fighting pool do. If you have more than one, they end up strengthening each other. I *do* like mechanics like that.

 

 

Also,

 

11 hours ago, Razor Cure said:

I kinda agree with this. Needing to cry 'gather for buffs' and wait for team mates to gather is painful, and makes it easy to miss people. On the other hand, it can be part of the situational awareness. I'd give the Auras a much bigger range, and no line of sight needed.

 

I *never* do this (call to gather) on my emps. I combat buff. The team's going to keep moving. If your Scrapper or Brute (typically) decides they need to hare off on their own, I'm not chasing you.  (Also why I'm not for the "no LOS needed." Get over here and stay with the team!)

 

Last thing... I *really* kind of wish you'd get a boost for actually TAKING your other set. When I see someone advertise as a "healer," from experience I tend to cringe and expect them to have no attacks past the first, or no slots in them.  I'd be tickled to see some sort of buff to Empathy that adds resists/defense/etc. to whatever your other set is.  But that's likely a mechanical nightmare.

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Primarily on Everlasting. Squid afficionado. Former creator of Copypastas. General smartalec.

 

I tried to combine Circle and DE, but all I got were garden variety evil mages.

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These are all good ideas.  One of my first characters (I'd say probably around number 7 or 8 back when I first started) was an Empathy/Radiation Defender.  Even though I barely knew how to play the game, I was still complimented quite a bit on keeping the team alive.  Honestly, whenever I see Empathy threads, it makes me want to try the set again.  Sadly, I feel like a lot of concerns about the set are pretty legitimate in this day and age.  There's lots of drawbacks in the set that top performers don't have.

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8 hours ago, Greycat said:

I *never* do this (call to gather) on my emps. I combat buff. The team's going to keep moving. If your Scrapper or Brute (typically) decides they need to hare off on their own, I'm not chasing you.  (Also why I'm not for the "no LOS needed." Get over here and stay with the team!)

I DID do this back on Live..sometimes. But usua;lly just forgot, or found the extra button press, in an already hectic situation, (hectic, or why do the RAs need to be dropped in the first place?) just annoying. And staying with teh team..well..look at it this way

Single target 'aoe' buffs (like shields) have a range of 80. And work in an aoe of that target.

RAs have a radius of 25. Meaning if someone is 'only' more than 25ft from you, they miss it.

 

Missing a buff with a 5 sec rech isnt a big deal..missing one of a loong rech kinda is. Of course, as you said..stay with the team. But that doesnt always work. lol

 

Personally, I almost never use my RAs, because I keep everyone alive without emp. So I think it would be nice if they did something else to encourage (at least my own) use, such as the debuff resist etc.

 

8 hours ago, Greycat said:

Last thing... I *really* kind of wish you'd get a boost for actually TAKING your other set. When I see someone advertise as a "healer," from experience I tend to cringe and expect them to have no attacks past the first, or no slots in them.  I'd be tickled to see some sort of buff to Empathy that adds resists/defense/etc. to whatever your other set is.  But that's likely a mechanical nightmare.

Funny, but I am the opposite. If I see an emp with more than a few attacks, I assume they are a shitty emp (they might be ok at blasting, but honestly, how hard is that?). MY own experience has shown..this to be correct in almost all cases. Of course, that is MY definition of a 'good emp.' But anyway..the powerset could use some love.

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44 minutes ago, Razor Cure said:

If I see an emp with more than a few attacks, I assume they are a shitty emp (they might be ok at blasting, but honestly, how hard is that?). MY own experience has shown..this to be correct in almost all cases. Of course, that is MY definition of a 'good emp.' But anyway..the powerset could use some love.

 

Level matters.

  • If you're doing a Posi 1 and the Empath doesn't even have Fortitude? They're a Bad Emp. As in "Bad Emp! Baaaaad Emp! No treat for you!" <spray water in face>
  • If they're in their mid-20's and they have the important available powers and a mix of attacks, I'm far happier with that than an Empath who takes ALL the attacks or ALL the Empathy powers. 
  • Late 30's and beyond, I expect them to be able to toss around a mix of attacks along with their empathy powers
  • And while I don't see them often, I expect any MM Empath to be able to compentently control their pets between buffing and any personal attacks they may have. I don't care if they have precision control over every pet, but know when to be in bodyguard mode, know when to be "'sic 'em, boys!!!", and know when and how to quickly banish them if they're about to draw extra aggro by chasing a runner. 

Absorb Pain I do not personally take or use, because generally I can do the job right fine without it, and it's rarely worth it to me to have the personal debuff it applies. 

Ressurect is touch and go. I often take it because I figure the team will expect me to have it.  But I always sort of begrudge it the power selection. 

 

Blasts, I tend to look for decent secondary effects worth stacking. 

Dark Blast is *quite* nice to make them miss more, kind of back-door-even-more-defense for whoever you Fort'd.

Psi Blast, is a classicly thematic pairing, but -Recharge is harder to feel an observable difference, etc.

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Thanks everyone for reading and for your comments so far!

 

Empathy_ClearMind.png.000a800dc4688ad10a07a1c509c9c01e.pngClear Mind

As far as I understand things (which admittedly may not be perfect), Clear Mind actually has different values for Sleep Resistance vs. other Mezzes. It applies a mag 12.9 general mez protection and then adds a specific resist to Sleep (+216%) carried forward. The +129% Resist carried forward against Confused, Terrorized, Held, Immobilized, and Stunned carried forward is currently PVP Only.

 

If Empathy gets an update, it would be awesome if all of these resistances were added to PVE and pulled to the level of Sleep.

 

It's entirely possible that City of Data is wrong, but here where I sourced my data:

https://cod.uberguy.net/html/power.html?power=defender_buff.empathy.clear_mind&at=defender

 

The general powerset description here is nonspecific about the numbers and PVE/PVP distinction.

https://hcwiki.cityofheroes.dev/wiki/Empathy

 

22 hours ago, Razor Cure said:

Unless you mean other sorta status things like debuffs.

 

This would be awesome. Killer suggestion ^

If this proposal ends up going anywhere, your idea should be in the final draft :D

 

10 hours ago, Greycat said:

6. Fortitude -

"This will comfortably enable the Empath to maintain Fortitude on all party members" - all party members don't need it. Prioritize.

7 - The two RAs.

They don't need to be able to be perma'd. So that I'll generally argue against.

8. AB -

Also doesn't need to be on multiple members of the party. That's just too much.

 

I would argue that Empathy does, in fact, "need it." There is a general sense in the community that Empathy is "dead" or in serious trouble.

 

While I understand and respect the old-school challenge mentality (and practice it myself in real life), it is a fact that, in the present state of the endgame, Empathy is not at parity with other powersets with comparable functions. Several other sets have all of the convenience, party-wide buffs and numerical superiority that I am suggesting here. Why should Empathy have a lower capability coupled with a disproportionate set of disadvantages and complications?

 

10 hours ago, Greycat said:

"If someone's going to run off on their own, that's on them."

 

"I *never* do this (call to gather) on my emps. I combat buff. The team's going to keep moving. If your Scrapper or Brute (typically) decides they need to hare off on their own, I'm not chasing you.  (Also why I'm not for the "no LOS needed." Get over here and stay with the team!)"

 

Your comments have helped to clarify something for me. Empathy is currently the victim of another paradox. On one hand, it is the powerset designed to rescue the team when it is most in trouble with a suite of reactive heals and mezzes. On the other hand, the toolkit requires a certain standard of play from one's teammates in order to be viable: tight stacking at precise intervals, positional and situational awareness, etc. The problem is that parties most likely to observe that standard are the parties least likely to need reactive support (unless they are really pushing difficulty). This is another reason in favor of party-wide auras and removing line of sight from Empathy heals; it makes the powerset more resilient against (and less reliant upon) poor decisions of other players, while simultaneously giving the Empath better tools to manage emergencies.

 

On Bad Emps

1 hour ago, Razor Cure said:

If I see an emp with more than a few attacks, I assume they are a shitty emp (they might be ok at blasting, but honestly, how hard is that?). MY own experience has shown..this to be correct in almost all cases. Of course, that is MY definition of a 'good emp.' But anyway..the powerset could use some love.

 

10 hours ago, Greycat said:

When I see someone advertise as a "healer," from experience I tend to cringe and expect them to have no attacks past the first, or no slots in them.  I'd be tickled to see some sort of buff to Empathy that adds resists/defense/etc. to whatever your other set is.  But that's likely a mechanical nightmare.

 

55 minutes ago, MTeague said:
  • Doing a Posi 1 and the Empath doesn't even have Fortitude? They're a Bad Emp. As in "Bad Emp! Baaaaad Emp! No treat for you!" <spray water in face>
  • If they're in their mid-20's and they have the important available powers and a mix of attacks, I'm far happier with that than an Empath who takes ALL the attacks or ALL the Empathy powers. 
  • Late 30's and beyond, I expect them to be able to toss around a mix of attacks along with their empathy powers
  • And while I don't see them often, I expect any MM Empath to be able to compentently control their pets between buffing and any personal attacks they may have. I don't care if they have precision control over every pet, but know when to be in bodyguard mode, know when to be "'sic 'em, boys!!!", and know when and how to quickly banish them if they're about to draw extra aggro by chasing a runner. 

 

I hear you guys. Unfortunately Emp has something of a reputation for not attracting the best players or for people choosing not to use their secondaries. My hope is that improvements to the powerset will raise all boats, advancing the performance of new/learning players who don't invest adequately in their secondary, as well as the endgame players who often have no choice but to leave their Emp on the shelf. Although the idea of some mechanical interaction with secondaries would be interesting, it seems that it would be so strong of a revision of the powerset that it would change the feeling or the playstyle and an insurmountable programming challenge.

 

Likewise, the buff for consecutive Emp powers seems as though it would encourage focusing on Empathy to the exclusion of the secondary. But I'm very interested in hearing more and we should certainly take the opportunity to talk about it.

 

55 minutes ago, MTeague said:

Dark Blast is *quite* nice to make them miss more, kind of back-door-even-more-defense for whoever you Fort'd.

 

Emp/Dark Chads rise up :D /Sonic and /Beam are also useful partners for Empathy. You're right about Psi, but frankly Psi needs a revision of its own.

Edited by LeoTheCat
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4 minutes ago, LeoTheCat said:

As far as I understand things (which admittedly may not be perfect), Clear Mind actually has different values for Sleep Resistance vs. other Mezzes. As a primary, it applies a mag 12.9 general mez protection as a primary, but then adds a specific resist to Sleep (+216%) carried forward. The +129% Resist carried forward against Confused, Terrorized, Held, Immobilized, and Stunned carried forward is currently PVP Only.

 

If Empathy gets an update, it would be awesome if all of these resistances were added to PVE and pulled to the level of Sleep.

 

I was just looking at Mids, and it says: Ally + res(sleep, hold, dis, confuse, immob, fear).

However, the effects tab shows all those besides sleep as a -Magnitude.

That make sense, since apparently the original devs could not even get descriptions right, regarding their own system! A Mez protection is -mag, and stops the target being mezzed if the total magnitude of Mez on said target does not exceed that protection value. So a squishes with a 12.9 prot to Hold (from CM) needs to get hit with FIVE mag 3 holds, before they are held. Which, in 99% of game play, will never ever happen. Even versus malta and masss stuns, or carnies as mass sleeps, it wont happen much.

 

Mez resistance is different, as simply lowers the duration of any mez of that type on you. The +mez resist from cm (and other anti mex powers) is present in pvp due to the major changes to the mez system that happened their back on Live, where NO ONE has mez prot, just resist. I assume its still pretty much that.

 

Giving mez resist in PvE would, as above, be pointless in nearly all situations.

 

Sorry if you already knew teh prot/res differences!

 

As to CM only giving Sleep resist in PvE..I am almost certain it also gives protection. If it doesnt, that is a bug (or a SUPER silly WAI). More likely the power info is borked.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

2 other ideas:

 

Firstly, what if Resurrect gave the target the Untouchable status until either 10 seconds pass, or they take a hostile action?  Bam, tactically the best rez in the game, without being OP.

 

Second, what if Empathy had the capacity to "overheal," with the excess becoming either Absorb or Endurance?

 

EDIT:  The more that I think about it, part of the problem is that Empathy is the best set to recover when things are going BADLY, but it doesn't have as much to offer when things are going WELL.

Edited by Menelruin
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2 minutes ago, Menelruin said:

Firstly, what if Resurrect gave the target the Untouchable status until either 10 seconds pass, or they take a hostile action?  Bam, tactically the best rez in the game, without being OP.

 

Second, what if Empathy had the capacity to "overheal," with the excess becoming either Absorb or Endurance?

 

I agree emp Res is inferior to others (RoTP, even Natures rez lets you heal someone) but..I just cant get the untouchable thing to make 'sense' for empathy. It makes total sense for RoTP..but both prestige res power are STILL better than Empathy's! Maybe if it also cast Fort/CM/Weakened adrenaline boost on the target? AT the very least CM, so they can retoggle and move. I also think rezzing doing a cut down AB would help to spread around what is (almost always) a single target buff.

 

I like the overheal idea..especially combined with Absorb Pain. It is in the name already!

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2 minutes ago, Razor Cure said:

 

I agree emp Res is inferior to others (RoTP, even Natures rez lets you heal someone) but..I just cant get the untouchable thing to make 'sense' for empathy. It makes total sense for RoTP..but both prestige res power are STILL better than Empathy's! Maybe if it also cast Fort/CM/Weakened adrenaline boost on the target? AT the very least CM, so they can retoggle and move. I also think rezzing doing a cut down AB would help to spread around what is (almost always) a single target buff.

 

I like the overheal idea..especially combined with Absorb Pain. It is in the name already!

I was thinking of how folks were trying to come up with solutions to a teammate dying immediately after being rezzed....and giving them Untouchable is the most direct solution to that, and would be a unique and massive perk for Empathy, without being game-breaking.  If it's the best heal set, shouldn't it have the (defensively) best Rez?  And what better defense is there than being temporarily invincible?

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Thoughts :

     Healing Aura -> the +End effect is interesting idea.  The amount needs some further thought or refinement I'm thinking.  8 strikes me as too much.

     Heal Other -> I'm with Greycat on this one.  The most important value here is animation time before effect (.833 sec).  Guess I'm not against it but convince me I need it to truly improve the set.  Personally I'd buff the base amount of heal or perhaps the radius of HA before buffing the recharge and animation times.  

     The idea of ignoring terrain I'm also not so enamored by.  It's part of the challenge of Empathy, repositioning to acquire your teammates for both buffs and healing.  I'm all for making powers more team friendly but I'm also not in favor of encouraging poor teaming habits.  A very fine line with a lot of subjective grey all around I'll grant.

     Absorb Pain -> the first Empathy power I never take especially on the primary build.  I get the desire to make the power name and its function match up but I  try not to get too hung up on that sort of thing.  Not sure what to think about making it an Absorb.  Either it adds effective health with an Absorb shield over and above health ... in which case I might be encouraged to precast it on everyone or there's minimal difference between it being an Absorb vs Heal if the target is substantially damaged.

     Resurrect -> the second power I almost never take.  The power needs a really serious reason to be picked with all the options currently available.  A power choice is way more valuable used for something else currently.  Only strong motivations other than utility can really justify taking it (theme, roleplay).  Not sure buffing the range, reduced end cost etc., would convince me to not just pass a wakie and buff them up quick.

 

Bed calls back later.

 

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Nice ideas.

 

I personally wish Adrenaline Boost was a low cost toggle, flagged not to disable when caster is mezzed. Keeping track of it is part of why I don't like playing Empathy. There's already too much to track.

 

Empathy's Resurrection is indeed disappointing. IMO the best and easiest buff there is for it just to have shorter recharge than other sets. 

 

IMO Recovery Aura should also provide -Recharge Resistance. 

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And more thoughts:

     Clear Mind -> I like the idea of adding some Psi resistance and maybe even defense to the power.  The Sleep Resistance is odd when looking at the fact the other mezzes aren't resisted.  But since it's fairly easy to place on 7+ it's largely moot unless the recharge is changed to counter any buffs to make it much harder to keep up on a team.  I generally, for example, keep it doubled on the non mez protected and add 1 to most armor sets while fighting Rommy so the Stun can be ignored by everyone (presuming Clarion isn't flying every where.)  The only other potential added buff would be To Hit Debuff resistance.

     Fortitude -> the suggested buffs are too much I'm thinking.  It's very potent as is buffing 3 very important aspects of any character by significant amount.  Buffing to the extent suggested and you may as well make it an AoE buff.  I can very easily maintain it on 4, with focus 6 as is.  And that's assuming none of the stronger recharge buffs are on me.  The suggestion would make that child's play to do.

    The Auras -> Strong no to any attempt to make perma.  Especially when combined with other changes ... just a big no.  No end problems for anyone anytime, multiple teammates approaching or exceeding toggle IH levels worth of regeneration.   As is my cool down is often under 30 sec particularly with any outside buffs.  Remember Nuke crashes ... this was how GM made child's play of nuke crashes -> AB + Recovery Aura (often multiple on a GM team) = near instantly full end bars and not uncommonly without any toggle drops that's what +1200% recovery will do for you.  AB + RA is a base unenhanced recovery of +1000%

     As for the whole "Gather" vs combat buffs vs other.  I buff in combat, on the fly, while being sure to catch anyone whose blue bar for whatever reason is sagging.  What if the Aura lingered for a time on the Empath giving folks who wanted the buff a chance to catch it.  Move into the Aura and get the buff with the Aura lingering for 5 or 10 seconds, perhaps the strength tapering down till vanishing after that time?

     Adrenaline Boost -> Perhaps the single strongest buff in the game.  See above changing this to cover more than 1 teammate full time is massive power creep without some serious nerfs to accompany it, again especially with other above changes involved.

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Galaxy Brain said:

@ people arguing against more easily spreadable / accessible ST buffs:

 

How should it compete with sets that give nearly as good buffs, but team-wide and can be perma?

     Specifically which buffs?   I'm not necessarily against them but some of the buffs without nerfing some other aspect are serious amounts of power creep and in many cases doesn't really change Empathy's "dead" status when it comes to endgame issues.  Enabling Fortitude to buff defense, to hit and damage for more folks already softcapped and able to hit +4 foes does what to bring up Emps game?  Adds 31.5% damage and ... . 

     Clear Mind well I like that one but again replaced by Clarion and even without Clarion softcap mean many mezzes just dont take place cause they dont land.

    Basically many of the changes make Empathy more powerful in the portions of the game where they already perform relatively  strongly early to mid game.  While they look pretty on paper I'm not sure how much stronger it really makes the set in endgame content.  Even with the purple patch that's why debuffs and their sets seem more desirable  because many buff sets are supplying more of what is generally much less needed.

Edited by Doomguide2005
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Galaxy Brain said:

@ people arguing against more easily spreadable / accessible ST buffs:

 

How should it compete with sets that give nearly as good buffs, but team-wide and can be perma?

With its AoE powers. S/T powers are not the problem. Forge is good. Painbringer is good. Temporal Selection is good. All come from good sets. The current state of healing as opposed to buffing/debuffing is not so good. Fortitude and Adrenaline Boost are working great; focus on the powers that aren’t.


I’m curious what the buff on the RA’s would look like if they scaled them down to match however much they’d have to scale down the recharge to get them perma (presumably with some work required like with Eclipse or Domination).

Edited by arcane
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I love Empathy - my first 50 back on live was an Empath defender. And it amazes me how frequently it gets discussed here that Empathy needs revamping. I remember calls for that back during live, too.

 

My concern is that the game has changed a lot from live, at least in my experience. Back on live, we would see a mob ahead, take time to strategize and buff, then implement the plan. Now things are faster, there's usually not a team huddle before a fight, and everyone is kind of doing their own thing.

 

Probably my top thing for Empathy is that Resurrect ought to be Targeted AoE.

 

I'd also be in favor of removing Absorb Pain, moving Resurrect and Clear Mind down so you get them earlier, and placing a new healing pet between Clear Mind and Fortitude (as was suggested in another thread).

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Oklahoman, Sooner Magic, Boy Band, etc

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Some more great suggestions here from everyone. Special thanks to Razor Cure for explaining the current state of Clear Mind, although, subjectively, I often see teammates with my Clear Mind precast on them getting Immobilize and Hold (at least). It would be cool to get some clarification on the discrepancy between the mids, live and city of data.

 

4 hours ago, Galaxy Brain said:

@ people arguing against more easily spreadable / accessible ST buffs:

 

How should it compete with sets that give nearly as good buffs, but team-wide and can be perma?

 

Galaxy Brain really hit the nail on the head: what Empathy does to a limited set of single targets or for a limited period of time, right now other sets can do party-wide and perma. I hope that this thread is part of the process to help move Empathy up to parity generally and give Empathy some unique and original strengths.

 

Empathy_Resurrect.png.1c2312fd9cb78d63ad529668837fffea.pngResurrect

My original post only suggested a range increase and recharge decrease, but really... why not also simultaneously implement Menelruin's suggestion for 10 seconds of Untouchable and Oklahoman's idea for Targeted AOE? If we implement all three, it would maybe make sense to not also lower the recharge, but the range increase would still need to happen. Currently Resurrect has a range of 15 ft., which is one body away from standard melee range (7 ft.).

 

2 hours ago, Oklahoman said:

My concern is that the game has changed a lot from live, at least in my experience. Back on live, we would see a mob ahead, take time to strategize and buff, then implement the plan. Now things are faster, there's usually not a team huddle before a fight, and everyone is kind of doing their own thing.

 

18 hours ago, Doomguide2005 said:

     The idea of ignoring terrain I'm also not so enamored by.  It's part of the challenge of Empathy, repositioning to acquire your teammates for both buffs and healing.  I'm all for making powers more team friendly but I'm also not in favor of encouraging poor teaming habits.  A very fine line with a lot of subjective grey all around I'll grant.

The Line of Sight removal idea for Heal Other and Absorb Pain and team-wide Auras is specifically to answer this problem. It also gives Empathy a unique advantage in gameplay that wouldn't imbalance the game numerically. I can't tell you guys how many times I've been in a cave mission, warehouse, or MSR where there is a tiny ridge or terrain feature that separates me from an injured teammate. By the time I run over, they're already dead, or I have to then run back to heal everyone else.  People have commented that positioning is part of the challenge of playing an Empath, but, once again, other support sets do not suffer this disadvantage to the same degree. Remember that we don't "encourage" or control the play habits of other players; they are responsible for themselves. The set needs to take our limited degree of control over others and the current state of the game into account. Plus the changes would be cool, flavorful and fun :D

 

18 hours ago, Doomguide2005 said:

     Heal Other -> I'm with Greycat on this one.  The most important value here is animation time before effect (.833 sec).  Guess I'm not against it but convince me I need it to truly improve the set.  Personally I'd buff the base amount of heal or perhaps the radius of HA before buffing the recharge and animation times.  

Right now there is a noticeable delay between castings of Heal Other if you need to provide a strong single target heal to two or more teammates in sequence. If you cast Heal Other and another party member needs a heal, you either wait for the recharge or hope they're within Healing Aura radius, because using a secondary blast would spend more arcanatime than just sitting there waiting for a recharge. It's frustrating and clunky. Two seconds is an eternity in a large scale fight, and especially when it matters. A faster cast speed and non-existent recharge would allow Empathy to properly react to incoming damage.

 

Right now this is what Absorb Pain is designed for on live (high output, no recharge, no endurance cost), but the self-debuff is devastating and outdated. New Heal Other as proposed above is basically a better Absorb Pain.

 

Thanks to everyone participating in the conversation, whether for or against. I appreciate you guys keeping the discussion alive.

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     Actually Absorb Pain unless CoD v2.0 is incorrect, has the same cast time, animation time, and animation time before effect as HO.  The only significant difference is end cost, and the larger base heal of AP (plus, of course, those debuffs).  I can't use internet outside of this phone if someone wants to verify the cast time etc. of AP.  

 

 

 

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Right, but it has no endurance cost and no recharge with a self-healing debuff. This proposal is to adopt the no/low recharge of AP on HO and chop the animation time in half. I'm not saying that it's a one for one numerical comparison; I'm comparing intended design and functionality.

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